The officia of St. Ambrose's de officiis

Published

Journal Article

A reader of Ambrose's De officiis who is well acquainted with Cicero's homonymous work will be immediately impressed by the similarities in organization and the structure of argument. However, he or she will also notice that the bishop's ethic contains an element of rigor absent from Cicero's more moderate ethic. By focusing on Ambrose's creative appropriation of the Ciceronian/ Stoic categories of duties (officia), I demonstrate how he incorporated this distinctive element of his ethic into his work while still employing the same structure, argument, and terminology as his model. Ambrose uses the first type of officia to critique Cicero's ethic while he redefines the second type of officia and subsequently uses it as a vehicle for expressing the defining characteristics of his own ethic. © 2011 The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Atkins, JW

Published Date

  • March 1, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 49 - 77

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1086-3184

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1067-6341

Citation Source

  • Scopus